Madagascar Euphorbia Culture

bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MIAugust 2, 2012

I have recently acquired several Euphorbia from Madagascar. Most are difficult to find specific cultural information. The kind of knowledge one only develops with time and knocking off a few plants. These weren't cheap and I would like to avoid as many mistakes as possible. I have done some research at Succulent Euphorbia and Bihrmann's Caudex and Cactuspedia but find it confusing when one site says, "Do this" and another says something different or not specific. What does, "Some water and some sun" actually mean? Bottom line, if any of you have personal knowledge about the culture of the following, please post or email me. It's not that I haven't grown Euphorbia before but some of these might take a bit "extra care" and some helpful words would certainly go a long way. I know your growing conditions may/are different than mine but I think I can figure it out with your help.

Euphorbia alfredii - I think I have this one figured out

E. ankarensis - pretty much the same care as above

E. aureoviridiflora

E. capmanambatoensis

E. cremersii - this one is tough, "Some water...No water???"

E. clavigera - not too much water and full sun

E. esculenta - not too much water and full sun

E. fusca

E. gulliauminiana

E. labatii

E. moratii

E. neuhumbertii - think I have this one, too

E. primulifolia

E. poissonii - very hard to find anything out about this one

E. suzannae-marnierae

E. subapoda

E. unispina

E. venefica

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All i have experience from those is E. Neohumbertii. I had 3 plants, killed one, and as of now one is looking OK. And the other one is looking great putting out lots of new growth. I have it in a bit of morning sun and a bit of after noon sun and water once a week. It is in a very well draing soil, probably about 60% pumice 20% bark 20% perlite.

The only thing i hate about getting into rarer things is that you cant find any info and end up killing something expensive and rare, and finding something else is usually very difficult. If they are all tropical like neohumbertii im sure they can handle alot of water.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 11:27AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Well, that isn't exactly true. While several are from Madagascar, some are from the southern or western portions of the country and require more arid treatment and water restriction, especially in their dormant season.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Hi Howard. I know nothing about your new plants but was wondering where you found them. I'm always interested in finding some of the less common succulents, though not necessarily euphorbias. I'm only familiar with a few online nurseries. I've come cross some eBay sellers that are outside of the US but don't know how reliable they are. The shipping w/phyto certificate is often significantly more expensive then the plant so I definitely want a reliable seller.

Good luck with your new euphorbis.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 12:58PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

I wish I could help, but Malagasy Euphorbias are one of the few plant groups that never seem to thrive in my care. The few I've tried show virtually no growth, and the small ones eventually wither and die. I don't know what it is about them (or maybe more accurately, my care), but I'll be watching this thread as well.

Karyn, I don't know where Howard got his plants, but Out of Africa carries many of these Euphorbias as well as many other unusual African succulents. I've purchased quite a few plants there and have been happy with all of them.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 1:21PM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Karyn, as Chris has mentioned, all of these plants came from Mike Massara at Out of Africa Plants. They all were of good quality and size as per his website pictures. Mike does something many other online vendors don't do. He sends out potted plants, not bare root. It may add a bit to the postage but it sure makes a difference in reestablishing the plants!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 4:16PM
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What a great selection! I like that he has photos of his stock. There were several that tempted me but I am still trying to find ceropegias that I don't already have.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:16AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Karyn, from the little I know of you, I am certain you are resourceful and will find them somewhere!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:12AM
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I don't know much I could tell you since our climates are so different... I grow all my Euphorbias outdoors... and those that are too delicate die. I have had good success with Euphorbia suzanne-marnierae and capmanambatoensis, though I do bring the latter plant indoors in severe cold (for us, that means 32 or less) and they have done well. The E suzanne has managed fine outdoors year round and does seems to have a pretty good cold tolerance. Watering both of these rather randomly and heavily has not lead to their demise... in fact, E capmanambatoensis seems to like a lot of water and looks a tad unhappy if I forget to water it a few weeks. E neohumbertii is a finicky plant outdoors and I have not managed to keep one alive, but it is very commonly done so in slight better climates nearer San Diego. Euphorbia esculenta I have found to be very easy plant in the ground but finickier in a pot. E primufolia and apoda are large caudiciform types with very little going on on top except during those short times when they make leaves and some flowers... both need careful watering strategies and you might be careful watering them at all when they are not leafing out. These are kind of pricey so one failure and I am done with them. E unispina and venenifica are popular plants here in shows and many succeed with them... but they, too are pricey so I have not tried them yet... both are pretty cold sensitive.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:53AM
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S. suzannae-marnierae, like all the others in that decary-esque group, actually like a goodly amount of moisture when growing, and bright light with less sun. The two things I've found to really make that bunch happy are HEAT (plenty of it) and a fast draining medium so you can water frequently. Temps in the 80's F are good. They do well under lights, but play with the distance from the light a bit - they tend to stall if too close/too bright.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:35PM
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